Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has told the Transport Ministry to improve transport planning over the next 10 years.
Forecasts of goods to be transported through seaports and airports have been woefully inaccurate, experts said.
Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said during an online discussion on the Government website in January that many of the 39 seaports and 22 airports in the country were overloaded or operating at full capacity.
Thang cited the example of Hai Phong Port that was designed to be able to accommodate 10 million passengers in 2010. In 2011, however, it had to deal with more than 40 million passengers, he said.
'This shows that planning is a problem,' the minister said.
He said ports in Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau and Quang Ninh are also running at breaking point, while many airports – including Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat and Da Nang – are also seriously overcrowded.
Meanwhile, Ngo Luc Tai, former director of Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department, said several seaports in the central region are being underused.
Tai said part of the problem is that transport projects are being implemented without adequate planning.
The PM also blamed traffic congestion in major cities on inaccurate forecasts.
A number of bypasses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have turned into main roads that have contributed to the uncontrolled development of urban centres. More seriously, project designs often change resulting in additional costs.